Workers fired for raising concerns about transgender student

Two school staff members say they were fired for voicing concern after being told to begin calling a 6-year-old girl by a new name and referring to her as a boy.

“It caused confusion,” says one employee. At Children’s Lighthouse Learning Center on Clay Road in Katy, Madeline Kirksey says last week she and her staff were told a six-year-old student is transgender. According to Kirksey, the child's parents cut the girl's hair short and Children’s Lighthouse Learning Center workers were instructed to start calling the girl a boy and by a boy's name. 

Kirksey was a manager at the school and says she suggested informing all parents. Instead, school administrators allegedly gave staff a handout to refer to if students have questions. 

“I don't think we should be talking to other people's children who are under the age of 18 about being transgender,” says Kirksey.

After insisting on notifying parents regarding the transgender 6-year-old student at Children’s Lighthouse Learning Center, Kirksey says she was fired. The termination letter includes claims that she failed to tell a worker to leave a game room and "When requested by parent and management to call a transgender child by the child's new name, Madeline does not follow instructions."  

"I said, ‘this is what this whole thing (firing) is about?' So she said, 'We'll scratch that off,' and that’s when she scratched off the line about the transgender child and wrote her initials by it,” explains Kirksey.

A Children's Lighthouse Learning Center teacher says she was also fired for raising concerns about all the confusion, which is apparently even being experienced by the six-year-old child.

“One day, she wanted to be a girl, the next day she wanted to be a boy," says Kirksey. "The other kids are confused as well, calling her a boy and she would start screaming, 'I'm not a boy!'” 

At Children’s Lighthouse Learning Center, FOX 26 News was told the school doesn't respond to issues regarding staff or students. The parents of the six-year-old child also declined to talk with FOX 26, asking for their privacy.

Kirksey says since the beginning of the school year, she has had a special bond with this student and she still wears the bracelet the student gave her.

“She said make sure you wear it because it glows in the dark and you won't be afraid,"  says Kirksey. She adds that she isn't afraid to speak up for what she feels is right.